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The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets (Cornell Studies in Political Economy) 1st Edition
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"The book provides a good panorama of the global situation after OPEC increased the price of oil in the early 1970s. No previous knowledge of the issue is required, as it is very well explained and the book is well organized. In addition it looks not only at the protagonist countries, the USA and Saudi Arabia, but also includes all the surrounding political actors, and the role they played regarding their own interests."―Gabriela Cano, Journal of Energy Literature
"This study . . . makes a significant contribution to the literature of international political economy. The book also is a useful point of departure for further exploration by historians of finance, economics, and business. The data on capital flows alone constitute a valuable resource for all analysts. . . . The book is closely argued within the author's established methodological framework. It engages the reader in lively argument."―Michael R. Adamson, Business History Review
"With this book, David Spiro delivers a knockout punch to those who assert that the recycling of petrodollars was market driven. Instead, he demonstrates the essential role of American power in that process and, by extension, in the operation and design of the international financial system. All future discussions of 'globalization' will have to take account of Spiro's work."―Ethan B. Kapstein, Stassen Professor of International Peace, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota
"This lively and well-written book combines the best of IR theory, careful empirical research, and muckraking."―James A. Caporaso, University of Washington
"Conventional wisdom has it that markets―and markets alone―recycled the huge OPEC surplus in the mid-1970s. David E. Spiro successfully refutes this argument and demonstrates that the United States played the key role in overcoming the threat to the world economy posed by OPEC. Of equal importance, Spiro's analysis also undermines the argument of those enthusiasts who believe that markets alone now rule the world."―Robert Gilpin, Princeton University
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Top customer reviews
In short, partly with the use of declassified primary documents and interviews with key US Treasury Players, Spiro exposes how the US government violated agreements with allies while secretly striking deals with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to recycle petrodollars in order to purchase US Treasuries. A high percentage of recycling satisfied the appetite of US government deficits, with the remainder recycled by multinational banks to developing countries. Conventional accounts argue petrodollars were recycled to developing countries which needed credit. Spiro, through emperical evidence proves otherwise... A significant portion of the countries were also oil exporting countries which benefited from the oil price increases e.g., Mexico; the emerging nations were considered good credit risks. With respect to the advanced economies, a very important point is the fact oil was linked to the dollar. This forced US allies to hold dollars or sink into US Treasuries.
The only problem I had with Spiro's work... his writing style. Spiro's work was funded by the Cornell University studies in Political Economy... so was not intended for a broad audience / uses poli sci academic speak.
Spiro's research is grossly underpublicized. Especially as we see U.S terms of trade deficits increasing. I highly recommend this book.